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Whats happening at the Pomegranate Valley prison?
What's up with the Pomegranate Valley Incarceration facility's fiscal oversight board?
By Oliver Handle
            In 1999, before the Socialists wrested power from the Conservatives on the City Legislature, Harvey Cooper and Stache Frankeljfitz, the only two Socialist legislators at that point in time, were able to push for several hearings investigating the need for a fiscal oversight board for the Incarceration facility in Pomegranate Valley.  The facility has been called a hotbed of corruption, pay offs, money laundering, and government defalcation by proponents of the fiscal oversight board.  Alexander Brunewit, director of the Chlymidia Mountain Human Rights and Social Justice Center, an activist group which has led the fight to have the prison monitored, testified during a criminal justice commission hearing in September 1999 that "according to our limited investigation, several million dollars has vanished somewhere inside the prison.  This suggests that either a group of individuals in the facility are stealing funds, and are working independent of the City Legislature, or they are working in complicity with the City Legislature and members of the Criminal Justice Commission, headed by Jason Mattice, by far the fiercest opponent of prison reform, this City Legislature has."  However Conservatives such as Leg. Jason Mattice (C-Pomegranate Valley), consider such words, to be "completely unsubstantiated, fallacious, accusatory left wing spin."  "Prison reform, is simply the Chlymidia Mountain left's latest Cause of the Month.  People like Al Brunewit and Mayor Grouke are just out hurling around these ridiculously paranoid conspiracy theories.   And since the law is unable to protect us from these fallacious accusations, we'll have to hope that the consequences come at the ballot box next January."  This statement was given to me by Conservative Legislative Leader Geoffrey Hatlee (C-Pomegranate Valley)  When asked to respond to this statement, Mayor Stan Grouke assured me that never has he "made a false or misleading accusatory statement against any sitting government official in Chlymidia Mountain.  I simply recognize the urgent  fact that millions of dollars are hemorrhaging from the Pomegranate Valley prison, and that that issue needs to be addressed appropriately.  And Mr. Hatlee's statement, claiming that I made accusations against anyone was completely false and should be urgently rectified."  Which is true, in all his two plus years serving as Chlymidia Mountains mayor, Stan grouke has never once issued a false or misleading statement about anyone.  And in the issue of fairness, that should be reported.   Besides the usual rhetorical fisticuffs the fiscal oversight board hearing, gave way to some quite significant issues.   One, the Conservatives who then controlled the legislature, and the Criminal Justice Commission, were able to suppress the testimony of several inmates claiming to have been solicited for drug-related money laundering activities, as well as several bookkeepers for the prison, who claimed that money is undoubtedly being stolen from the prison.  Now why would the Conservatives in the legislature endeavor to stifle these testimony's?  Is it fallacious to suggest that they are complicit in criminal activities?  Adam Deemer, a Conservative attorney in Chlymidia Mountain says "yes."  "The fact that busy City Legislators didn't want to have their time wasted by listening to the testimony of a bunch of convicted criminals whose testimony isn't worth spit, isn't sufficient to convince me that they're in collusion with drug dealers, embezzlers, and general thief's robbing the taxpayers of prison funds."  "Well, what about the bookkeepers?  Is their testimony not worth spit either?  It seems that according to the Conservatives, the testimony of anyone who tries to bring attention to the fact that something's wrong isn't worth spit."  Responded Harvey Cooper in an angry tirade, after reading Adam Deemer's comments in his editorial in The Chlymidia Mountain Daily Tribune.  That was all then, this is now.    It's only been a year, but so much has changed.  The Conservatives no longer control the Legislature,  they were forced into a coalition government when the Socialists won two seats last January evening up partisan lines.  And now that the Socialists have this much power, what will they do to push the issue of a Prison fiscal oversight board?  "The issue is going to be of utmost importance to us, come late July when the Legislature deliberates on the Criminal Justice Appropriations bill.  The way things are going, it looks as though a fiscal oversight board for the Pomegranate Valley prison will be implemented in Fiscal Year 2001, if all goes well."  explains Leg. Stache Frankeljfitz (S-Hickory Ridge)  If all goes well.